The water puddles a muddy red color before it swirls down the shower drain. Every day we shower – sometimes more than once – and every day it is the same. The red clay cakes onto our skin, and I am certain there is also echoes of animal waste mixed in there too, but that is rather unpleasant to think about so I don’t.
I was walking across the mission compound and I found Wesley covered in red dirt. I commented on how dirty he was and he said; “I know! Isn’t it wonderful?”
Paul and I aren’t quite as enthusiastic about the dirt.You cannot walk somewhere without seeing the droppings of an animal, and usually you can see the animals themselves. Goats, lizards, wasps, ants, mosquitos, chickens and roosters are the most common. The other morning I looked out the window and spotted a muddy goat with a bird perched on his back. The goat was munching on grass and the bird was pecking away at, what I assume, was bugs on the goats coat.
It feels very humid and muggy. If you are not working hard it isn’t so bad, but we have been working and so have been feeling the heat. We are drinking a lot of water, which is filtered here in my cousin’s home and is safe to drink.
You can hear a goat bleating or a rooster crowing at almost any given time throughout the day. In the afternoons there are many children nearby and their happy playful noises fill the air.
The late evening through well past midnight produces ruckus from a woman preacher/healer blaring jibberish over a poor quality loudspeaker somewhere nearby. Every now and then I can make out a “praise Jesus” from her, but the rest is just headache inducing noise.
The children are the most precious – most know enough English to communicate on a very basic level. They can tell me their name, their age, who their brother or sister is, and how they are doing. (Which is always “fine”.) And they can often repeat those same questions back to me. Sometimes we can converse a little bit beyond that.
The other day one little girl found a dead frog. She squealed and showed it to her cousin and said “This is your husband!” Clearly, they are not lacking a sense of humor.
When they are nearby there is almost always one or two or ten of them wanting to hold my hands (or, beyond 2, hold my fingers). The babies mostly still cry at the sight of me.I struggle with understanding what a lot of them are saying, even when they speak English. They have a strong accent as well as speaking quickly, and I am slow to understand. But they are such a gentle and gracious people.
The other day we met a little boy and understood him to say that his name was Honor.
Wesley said; “Oh wow! That is such a great name! But they are going to be so confused when they gather at your funeral to honor Honor!”
Turns out his name isn’t Honor, but Ono (On-oh).
For some reason funerals have been on the boys minds lately. Wesley was helping to scrape wasp nests off the wall we were prepping to paint and was freaking out a little over the squirming larvae he discovered inside some of the nests. Judah consoled him with “Don’t worry, if you die here scraping these nests we will honor you as a hero and we will serve your favorite foods at your funeral.”
Speaking of favorite foods – almost all of the food has been delicious! There has been one breakfast porridge style dish that tastes a bit fermented and is very runny that none of us are overly fond of, but everything else the boys have raved over. We all enjoy the Nigerian style dishes and I will try to photograph and share more about them in a future post.Related Posts: